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Set in Jubilee, Ontario, ‘Boys and Girls’ is a short story by Alice Munro and follows the life of a young girl who is the narrator as she lives on a fox farm with her family. The story is told through the point of view of the family’s daughter who is in search for gender…
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Download file to see previous pages The story reveals to the reader just how unfair identity prejudice restricted on women choices during the time period.
The theme of gendered identity and roles gets illuminated throughout the book. This can be revealed when the author states that she liked to work outside while she noted that her mother worked inside. As a young girl, the narrator tells of how happy she was to work outside with her father who was a fox farmer. She liked being a hired hand that helped to bring water to the foxes, cutting grass, and watering plants. She notes that her mother worked inside the house concerning herself with housekeeping and particularly in the kitchen where she prepared foods such as jam, jelly, and preserves. The narrator notes of how her mother would on a number of occasions constantly try to negotiate with her father on getting her to work in the house more. This gendered view presented in the story is quite telling as it shows the place of the woman in the society back in the time period. Women got resigned to housekeeping and the kitchen as their traditional roles.
The story is also interesting given the narrator persistence at trying to break down the social view on gendered roles at the time. As a young girl, she dreams of herself rescuing people from a building that got bombed. As an oldest child, she takes it upon herself to help her father with her pelting business which was traditionally a male chore. Through various descriptions in the book, the reader notes of the young girl’s adventurous nature, physical strength, courage, and her imaginativeness. As a young girl, she is clearly impervious to the concept of gendered roles. She happily dreams of opportunities that call for boldness, courage, and self-sacrifice. This illustrates her free spirit as a young girl that later becomes curtailed by societal conceptions of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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